Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 20 – TV Review

OUaT Zelena Wicked Witch melting Kansas

Probably shouldn’t have stood near a well, then.

Yes, it seems Dorothy Gale is destined to be careless with a murderous bucket of water.

Melting witches is her bag, baby.

TL;DR Zelena’s flashbacks show how she became so evil, including her brief run-in with Dorothy; Snow gives birth; Zelena tries to enact her spell; our heroes thwart it, naturally; Gold is unable to forgive her and stabs her into dust.


The Storybrooke plot is pretty straightforward. Snow is in labour, so Emma and Hook go off to attack Zelena so she can’t attack Snow. Zelena has Gold drown Hook, so Emma is forced to put her mouth on his mouth to resuscitate him, thus sapping Emma of her magic. Now that nobody is able to stop her, Zelena storms the hospital, and nobody is able to stop her. She steals Snow and David’s newly born baby and lights up her spell. The gang arrive in time for Regina to harness her own good magic and neutralise Zelena, and Snow and David get their precious baby back. Despite his reunion and proposal to Belle, Gold cannot let his vengeance go (unlike a magnanimous Regina) and stabs Zelena in her jail cell, turning her to dust. Then her magic crystal pendant, which Regina had locked up in her vault, goes loco and reignites the spell. Ooh. Meanwhile, Emma is still as determined as ever to leave Storybrooke for New York, which is pretty disheartening for Hook (and an in-the-dark Henry). And in our flashbacks, we see Zelena being befriended by Glinda and the other 2 witches of Oz soon after her exposure of the Wizard. Glinda thinks Zelena is part of a prophecy that foretells a powerful, good witch of Oz. Then Dorothy flies into town in a green tornado and jeopardises all that. Zelena instantly goes psycho and manipulates Dorothy into returning to Kansas via silver slippers. When Glinda learns of Zelena’s deception, Zelena banishes the goody two-shoes bitch to the Enchanted Forest.

It’s not easy being green. And also a jealous, omnipotent, crazy bitch.

I honestly can’t believe how easy it was to foil Zelena’s spell. All it took was a 2 second pep talk from Henry and Emma and Regina was all “Oopsie me, I can just use the exact opposite kind of magic to the only one I know. Tee hee!”

And it works. Flawlessly.


Why I hate this episode:

I was also mistaken about Zelena’s goals for Emma’s magic. It turns out it wasn’t an ingredient in the spell; Zelena just wanted to depower Emma so nobody could come at her while she pulled off the spell. I feel like I didn’t make that mistake on my own, though. The show was implying that, wasn’t it?

Similar to Regina’s takedown is the simplicity of Zelena’s assault on the hospital. She just handwaves each line of defence out of the way with zero effort. Why even bother?

Robin makes a big deal about sneakily stealing Regina’s heart out of the spell circle while Zelena is busy force-choking Regina. Which seems a bit silly when Zelena is defeated in the next 2 seconds and Robin could have just casually walked up and taken it then.

David insists on Hook accompanying Emma to the early attack on Zelena. Despite the fact that they all know that Hook’s lips are cursed. Hell, I wasn’t even expecting Zelena to go to the lengths of having to drown Hook to get their faces mashed together. If she wanted to, all she’d have to do is freeze them with her magic and force their heads together herself. The safest way to ensure Hook’s lip curse wouldn’t be enacted would be to keep him as far away from Emma as possible. Nice planning, David.

Also, I thought Hook had to kiss her. Emma gives him mouth-to-mouth, and that is enough to satisfy the lip curse. Why didn’t Zelena just, as I said, use her magic to fling them together at literally any point before now?

Emma is still intent on leaving Storybrooke for New York. Stop lying to us, baby. We know you won’t.

Dorothy turns out to be a really young girl. I wanted a hot skank.

I know I shouldn’t be shocked by Zelena’s pathetic levels of jealousy, but she goes from zero to batshit in 5 minutes flat when Dorothy shows up. Glinda is like “Calm down, tho,” and Zelena is like “Fake my own death, impersonate the wizard, then banish you to the Enchanted Forest, tho.”

Glinda initially praises Zelena for exposing the Wizard. But then she goes to him to help Dorothy get home. Hypocritical bitch.

Glinda goes on about how it’s Zelena’s decision whether to be good or evil: that she can determine her own fate. In the next breath, Glinda reveals that she’s operating on an ancient prophecy that she has utter faith will be fulfilled. So you can determine your own fate, as long as it’s what the book says it should be?

Glinda “gives” Zelena her magic pendant, but doesn’t offer it as a choice. She just thrusts it on her, then tells her the condition that while it will amplify her power, her magic will evaporate if it gets taken away. Thanks?

Oh, and Glinda accepts, without any further investigation, that Zelena can indeed die from getting a bit of water splashed on her. Basically, it’s not a banner episode for Glinda, okay?


But it’s not all bad:

Zelena gets killed twice. Once for play, once for real (maybe).

In order to trick Dorothy and Glinda, Zelena attacks Dorothy while she’s at a well. Dorothy throws a bucket of water at her to put out her fireball, and Zelena melts and “dies.” It was a ruse to trick Glinda into thinking Dorothy has fulfilled the prophecy of defeating the great evil, so she would let her go home. Smooth.

Her death in Storybrooke seems a bit more legitimate. Gold, now in possession of his dagger, doesn’t have to bow to anyone. His rage at Zelena’s murder of Baelfire is too powerful to ignore, and he uses his dagger to shank her in the gut. She turns to porcelain, shatters, then dissolves into dust.

This has the added bonus effect of making her stashed-away pendant emit green smoke, which reaches the discarded spell circle and reignites it. I hope that means Zelena will be reborn. These Storybrookers are too merry right now.

After Zelena’s defeat, Regina gives the Dark One dagger to Belle, who returns it to Gold, who returns it Belle as a marriage proposal. She accepts. Aww. But it was a fake one he gave back to her, because he wanted to keep the real one for himself so he could murder Zelena by his own will. I applaud his deceitful practicality.

While Emma is insistent on leaving Storybrooke, she does affirm to Hook that she never would have let him die from his drowning, no matter the curse on his lips. Good. Now hook in, bitch.

Glinda and the other Oz witches seem well-intentioned. If haphazardly hypocritical. Maybe that’s just Glinda.

Henry is convinced that he and Emma will be staying in Storybrooke. I lol’d.

With Emma powerless and Zelena powerless and dead, Regina has moved back up the Most Powerful Sorcerer ladder. Now all she has to do is bump off Gold, and she’ll be number 1.

Best line of the episode goes to Regina, who is skeptical of Henry’s suggestion that using good magic would be the right method of attack against Zelena: “Henry, I don’t even have my heart right now.” That seems like it would be an obstacle.

Oh, and watching David and Snow frozen and helpless as their baby was taken away is nothing short of a sweet treat.

OUaT Zelena baby Kansas

“I am a witch, after all.”

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About ijusthateeverything

Sincerity is death.

11 responses to “Once Upon a Time Season 3 Episode 20 – TV Review”

  1. Teylen says :

    Given how it was shot I thought that Robin has had to take the heart to enable Regina to blast her sis away in the name of lov…err good magic.
    When Regina stuffed the pendant away, having this slightly sinister evil look I got some hope that she does plan something else.

    Regarding that thing between Emma and Hook. I do think she actually kissed him. It didn’t look like mouth-to-mouth as she also didn’t try to kickstart his heart. Maybe she tried that “true love kiss” thing?

    About Zelina. After being scattert she turns to dust and the dust gets to the pendant to transform to green smoke,.. so I take it she’s totally alive.

  2. Kristyn says :

    Lol, Zelena was enormously stupid about her curse’s consequences anyway… she would have messed up pretty much everything without winning her precious Rumple.

    If she’d killed young Princess Bitch, Cora would have married Leopold and would have become his queen; she would have raised little Zelena as her and Leopold’s daughter. So she would never be on this ball back then to hook up Prince Henry (who needs a fourth-in-line Prince when you already have an heir to the throne, duh!), so she would have never been imprisoned with the task of spinning straw into gold. Cora would have never met Rumplestiltskin in the first place, which, admittedly, would have made Rumple’s flirty relationship with Zelena much less creepy. Only, there would be no such relationship. He would have never met her. Because, even if Zelena is born with strong magic, why the heck would the King and Queen of a roundabout sugar sweet fairytale country hire a feared dark wizard to train their daughter in magic?
    Also, raised as a Princess herself, Zelena would not be nearly as desperate for love and appreciation – she probably would not clinge to Rumple like she does now. So, after time restart, new Zelena would totally miss the point of changing the past anyway. Oh, time travels…

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